Sunday, May 20, 2007

Always Leave a Paper Trail -- jcarolek

I had intended to make my sister’s birthday cake. But, as is often the case, one thing ran into the next, and I found myself short on time. So it was that I dropped by the local Wal-Mart and purchased a ¼ sheet cake, unfrosted, purchased the frostings and returned home. In just a few minutes I had frosted the cake, creating the “plain” backdrop against which I would place the cake topper.

We made the trip to Dad’s in just about three hours and upon arriving, set about to the important activities...always part of the family gatherings…small talk….snacking on all the goodies…basically catching up. There were ten of us able to particpate in the celebration today and we all stopped briefly to watch the horses race around the track and watch the winner nose out his tough competition…and then we returned to small talk…snacking…and more catching up.

At some point, the actual “dinner” was prepared on the grill and we all sat down to share my sister’s 50th birthday meal. We had steak, shrimp, salad, corn on the cob, vegetable medley, stuffed mushrooms, bread and butter, and more….after grace…we got back to the business at hand…small talk…eating supper…and more catching up.

Soon, we were all filled and we continued our catching up as we helped clean up the dishes, and prepared for the presentation of the cake. I positioned the cake topper atop the cake, and set about adding a dozen candles. I was somewhat impressed with how tough it was to stick the candles in the cake, but I persevered and I achieved my goal. Once I had the candles lit, I carried the cake into the dining room, to the familiar tune of “happy Birthday.”

Jeannie responded to our request to extinguish the candles BEFORE the cake topper caught on fire, by blowing out all twelve. I then set about cutting the cake…once again, I noticed it was quite a sturdy cake, and took a little muscle to cut through. I served the cake to my family members and my husband was the first to start eating his….I was still serving pieces of cake when John asked, “Judy, is there paper under this icing?”

Well, of course there was! Blind as I am, I had not even seen the piece of paper that covered the entire sheet cake. I honestly thought I was looking at the “golden brown” cake while I was icing it. So I had succeeded in icing over a nice sheet of paper, rather than the cake itself. To get a better visual of my accomplishment, please take a cupcake, in the cupcake paper, and turn it upside down in on a plate. Now, do NOT remove the cupcake paper, but carefully apply icing over the whole thing. Now, stick a candle in it, and serve it to your unsuspecting guests!

But, my vision problems are legendary, and this latest faux pas, served to resurrect tales of past “accomplishments”. Everyone enjoyed their cake, as they accepted their piece, scraped the icing off the paper, pulled the paper off the cake, reapplied their icing to the actual cake and then ate it…..

And now you will understand when I say, “I always like to leave a paper trail….”

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